Mortality in 1850
The Illinois River Valley was known for its unhealthy atmosphere of marshy lakes, humidity, and heat in the summer, with cold, wet winters. The 1850 Morgan County mortality schedule shows that 62 adults (over age 16) and 66 children died in a county population of 16,064. Only three of the deceased persons were over 70 years of age.
Diseases that attacked the lungs were very prevalent. For adults, the biggest killers were malaria, cholera, consumption (tuberculosis), pneumonia, liver complaints, and typhoid. Children died from pneumonia, whooping cough, croup (viral larynx infection), malaria, and cholera. Nine people fell victim to cholera in the summer of 1849. There were thirteen instances in 1850 where more than one family member died within a few days, weeks, or months of one another.
Mortality in 1895
In 1895, the Old Settler's Association held their 27th annual reunion in Jacksonville, Illinois. A necrological record for July, 1894 through June, 1895 provides more information about age at mortality and when people from different states and counties immigrated to Morgan County, Illinois.
For example, compared with 1850, when only 3 of the 126 people who died were more than 70 years of age, in 1895, 52 of the 127 who died were over 70. This may reflect the general younger age of the early settlers, although 34 of them had lived in the county for more than 40 years.
This chart and list below it show the place of origin of some of the Old Settlers' Association members.
|Range of Arrival Years
Other states from which Morgan County settlers came are: Pennsylvania, the Virginias, Tennessee, Ohio, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Maryland, Indiana, and Missouri.